Be completely honest, do you tend to react with fear (often expressed as anger) or try to change the mood of a situation to avoid ‘making waves’ or keep others happy or calm? Better yet, do you sabotage your projects or goals or getting the opposite of what you expect in your conversations and relationships? If any of this rings true, you’re been unconsciously driven by fear and guilt.
But you’re not alone. Fear and guilt have become the main yet unspoken emotional currencies permeating human interactions—cleverly used both collectively and individually to control behavior. They color your perception and therefore your experience of life, disconnecting you from your true nature and what you really want.
These emotions are so deeply weaved in your perception that it can be tricky to recognize all the shapes and subtle expressions they take. Fear may be obvious when you’re in danger and guilt when have done something you consider unacceptable, but they run deeper than you think and have become part of your self-image through your upbringing and the cultural values you’ve inherited.
You were born with a pure mind—a yogic mind with no thoughts—and remained connected to your spiritual nature until you increasingly developed an ego and identified with the physical senses. You were innocent and curious, loving and enthusiastic about exploring life and expressing your uniqueness freely and openly. But you were also codependent, relying on others for safety, guidance, and nurturing in a world that often appeared chaotic and overwhelming.
You quickly learned that freedom and self-expression were not part of the equation of belonging to a dysfunctional family (and what family isn’t?). You also internalized both the dynamics you observed and those between you and the people you loved, which became the aspect of ego I call your ‘sense of otherness.’ This aspect carries the figures, voices, and patterns that still judge and control your behavior from within—that is, until you make them conscious to step out of the child archetype that, like most people, you’re stuck in.
Life became more and more restrictive in terms of your self-expression, not just because of what was expected of you, but also because there was no guidance to understand and process your emotions. Most likely, your parents simply repeated child raising patterns similar to their parents’ and grandparents’, based on their own wounded perception and emotional disconnection.
Fear Is the Opposite of Love (Your Divine Nature)
At the root of all fears is the fear of death, which comes not just from instinct but also from the identification with the ego-mind. In human terms, dying means the ego disappears along with the illusions of physical experience and separation it creates. The soul never dies, only our identification with the physical body, without which the ego wouldn’t exist.
This fundamental fear bears the fear of opposition, loss, or suffering in any form, and of course the fear of invisibility—of not being seen or heard. Growing up you were afraid to lose your parents’ love and approval, because their behavior and attitudes made it clear that it was not as unconditional as yours; it was tainted with their own unresolved issues, fears, and expectations. Then you simply continued projecting into new interactions these internalized impressions and dynamics.
Love is your true nature; it connects you to the flow of life and Infinite Consciousness within you. Whenever you let fear in for any reason, whether past or future, real or imaginary, you block the flow of love and disconnect from yourself. This places you in a perception of vulnerability that robs you of the inner power to shape a better reality.
Whenever you get attached, worried, or fixated on something, fear is likely driving your perception and promoting the manifestation of what you’re afraid of: fear of suffering blocks healing; fear of judgment blocks fulfillment; fear of poverty blocks abundance; and underlying it all, the fear of failure is your ego’s disguised attempt to block your true, inner power to create whatever you want.
Guilt Is the Opposite of Freedom (Your Divine Birthright)
I wrote in The Indigo Journals:
“Only awareness brings change and only love heals, so guilt is pretty useless; in fact, unconscious guilt is your worst enemy. It robs you of your innocence and purity, promoting self-judgment and self-sabotage […] distorting your creative expression into perfectionism and censure, and making you responsible for everything and everyone.”
Guilt is invisible and pernicious and can take multiple shapes to block your inherent innocence and freedom. Sigmund Freud stated that guilt precedes the crime to explain some of the mechanisms with which the psyche protects the ego. This means that if you feel guilty about something—often an ‘unacceptable’ desire—you’ll punish yourself while veiling the awareness of your original guilty feelings.
It’s like committing a crime to hide what your self-image considers a more serious crime, even if it’s just imaginary. From the perspective of the wounded child archetype, nothing is more unacceptable than expressing yourself freely and openly, since in the past it was often followed by a reaction that caused you pain. Now, keep in mind that in a dysfunctional world you don’t really need to do anything wrong to feel guilty; guilt is the emotional currency of choice for others to mold and manipulate your behavior.
Just observe human interactions. Rather than taking spiritual responsibility for their emotions and reality, everyone expects everyone else to meet their needs and get upset when they don’t. You probably blame others when they don’t do what you want and also take the blame when they’re not happy or they reject you. The idea behind this is, “If you don’t do what I want, you don’t love me” or its reverse, “”If I don’t do what others want I don’t deserve their love or appreciation.”
Fear and guilt go hand in hand, so much so that at times it’s difficult to discern where the fear ends and the guilt begins, and the other way around. If you feared your expression would trigger a negative reaction as a child you learned to justify your behavior or lie or hide things, which in time turned into patterns of thought and perception disconnecting you from an authentic self-expression.
Now you may fear judgment, criticism, and rejection while being judged, criticized and rejected by your own sense of otherness, which leads you to sabotage or disconnect from the flow of life and the things you enjoy. Some ways unconscious guilt manifests are:
- You act impulsively only to feel ashamed afterward
- You beat yourself up with regrets about something you did or didn’t do
- You compare yourself to others to diminish who you are
- You have an irrational sense that something bad is going to happen
- You feel obligated to do what you think others expect of you
- You feel disconnected or find no joy in the things you do
Another way to recognize you’re feeling guilty about something is when your life seems to lose its spark and everything looks gray, or when you can’t feel motivated to accomplish your projects and goals. In truth, it’s not that you’re doing anything wrong; it’s simply that any impulse toward emotional freedom triggers resistance from the ego-mind. Since it has access to all your unconscious files, it colors your perception to hold you back and keep you stuck in the limited and limiting viewpoint of childhood.
Your sense of otherness determines how you judge and treat yourself through your interactions with others, so it’s imperative to transform this internal bully by nurturing positive tendencies and strengthening your inner voice—stretching further and further beyond past patterns of fear and guilt to express who you really are. So give yourself permission to open up to new possibilities and contact me today to develop emotional freedom, to live life in your own terms and without apologies!
© 2016 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.
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